AUKUS: Analysis of its Claimed Objectives in Asia-Pacific
Australia, United Kingdom and United States on September 15, 2021, formed a multipurpose military alliance (AUKUS) aimed at enhancing collective security in the Indo-Pacific region. These countries, in a joint communiqué described the idea of AUKUS being guided by their; “enduring ideals, shared commitment to the international rule-based order, and resolve to deepen diplomatic security, and defense cooperation” in the Indo-Pacific region. Under this alliance, Australia will acquire long-range strike capabilities; for its air force, navy and army, and nuclear submarines and nuclear fuel from United States and United Kingdom. The NPT article 1 mandates the NWS not to transfer or encourage development of nuclear weapons or other explosive devices by NNWS and hence this is a violation of that obligation. Similarly it is a violation of Article II that states NNWS would not seek such assistance. Nevertheless, the agreement to transfer US or UK nuclear submarine technology including highly enriched Uranium to Australia is termed by experts as an act of nuclear proliferation and a serious strategic concern for the region. This paper has done the frame analysis of the terms, used in the AUKUS communiqué, to bridge the gap between its frame of reference and frame of work.